Mars City Shadowrun
Ex-Firewatch Combat Decker and Sniper
Street name: Fentin
Screen Name: Knowble_Anger (Kn0b13_8gerr)
Marks look like: the word “Checkmate” written in bloody letters
Avatar looks like: White Knight chess piece
Short Term: Helping the poor, the innocent, or the convenient
Medium Term: Learn obscure and valuable knowledge
Long Term: Make himself a geared-out unstoppable cyber soldier
Where does your character come from, what is his lineage, who were his parents, and what did he inherit from them?
Fentin was born Fentin Walls in a quiet suburb of New York City. He is a white human male, born to white upper middle class parents. He’s ultimately Germanic in decent but was raised wholly UCAS, and has no care for lineage. His parents have both worked for Ares since he could remember. During his formative years, his mother became higher and higher up in the organization while his father seemed to flounder. This created a rift between them that led to their divorce when Fentin was 10. As is typical, Fentin at first blamed himself for the split, but grew in his teen years to believe their divorce was a kind of betrayal of him and the family unit that he’d been raised with. He lived with his mother but liked his father more, and he retreated into computers and the ever-evolving matrix to find solace. His mother is a task master but has a warm heart. She’s compelled by the need to feel respected by others, and she grew up underprivileged, seeing strong effort as the greatest thing someone can do. His father is a cold dreamer, a creative type but selfish and hard. He’s been stuck in relatively low-wage marketing jobs at Ares for decades, shuffling from department to department, never getting too far ahead. He’s a classic libertarian. Fentin gets his work ethic and morals from his mother, and his creative problem solving and ability-to-murder-in-cold-bloodedness from his father.
Assuming they could speak, what would each of your character’s parents say about her?
Fentin’s mom would say, “What you do takes a lot of guts, a lot of drive, and a lot of stupidity. I’m disappointed.”
Fentin’s dad would say, “Give ‘em hell, take what you can, and don’t look back. I’d love to be in your shoes, son.”
How did your character get into shadowrunning, and why did he take that path?
Fentin was hired at 15 as a Junior Trainee in the Knight Errant Youths Keeping Intelligence Data Secure, or KEYKIDS, – an acronym created by his father. He was trained in corporate counter-espionage techniques and set on a path to become a corporate spider, but the cold hard reality of the matrix wasn’t enough for him. He longed to do something that would help people, not just protect corporate interests, so when he was 18 he joined Knight Errant’s officer training program and was quickly targeted for Firewatch duty when his shooting scores and personality were analyzed. He strongly tested as loyal to Ares and self-controlled and a great shooter and highly skilled in the matrix, which set him up to become a sniper/hacker. By the age of 20 he was in the field, and by age 23 he was a fully active member of Firewatch. After his six-year contract ran up, he decided to change directions, took an optional sabbatical, and decided to become a beat cop. It was here that the cracks formed in his mind over his career started to tear his faith in Ares open. When he was in Firewatch, everything was justified, everything was fast and sharp and there was a clear good and bad, a clear target. He had many times been on runs where things didn’t quite add up, where maybe a detail or two or three was swept under the rug, but it was easy to justify these problems when he was considering that these were criminals, and that they deserved everything they got. For Knight Errant the domestic security force, though, it wasn’t just sweeping details under the rug, it was creating them out of whole cloth, completely and utterly falsifying evidence, and ingrained corruption on a massive scale. He was ordered to do things that were clearly immoral and unjustified simply to curry favor with this politician or that corporate interest. People were hurt, and killed, and imprisoned for nothing – because it was convenient or easy or paid for. Becoming a beat cop tore him apart, but the more he analyzed the system, the more it was clear to him that all institutions, no matter how well meaning, will bow to the pressures of greed and power. He knew good people at Knight Errant, knew good cops and good beaurocrats and even good lawyers, but they were the exception, and they kept their heads down and slid by. Fentin wouldn’t be satisfied with helping a person or two a year get out of a bind, as his moral colleagues were. It was a long 2 years that he spent in that place. But it broke him, truly, and when he finally got out he’d done some things and let some things be done that he was ashamed of, just to make his fucking bosses happy. He began planning, and over the course of the next 2 years, he implemented through hacking and social engineering an Ares Exit Strategy that saw him leave the corporation completely legitimately, with no ill-will, his contract apparently bought out by a private security firm in Asia. In actuality, he hit the streets, going to a low-level dealer he knew named Chem, who was not all there, but not a bad guy, either. He knew Chem did some pretty big stuff sometime, so he started asking the guy, “Hey, you need some sniping? You need some hacking? No innocent people, but I’ll fucking kill the bad guys, no problem.”
What is your character’s living space like, and what has he added or changed to make it his own?
Back in firewatch, Fentin lived on a base, and his life was impermanent. When he started hacking pavement he lived a middle class lifestyle in Detroit, doing the beat cop thing and watching cable matrix. When he dumped out of that, he moved to Chicago, a place he knew pretty well from his Firewatch days, and a place he knew he could get work. He had a small apartment on the outskirts, more towards Chicago than Milwaukee, and had a bolt-hole inside the city walls. Now he just lives like a shadowrunner, never a place to call home.
What does your character believe in, what are her convictions (if any), and why does he hold them?
Fentin is strongly moral, believes there is a right and a wrong, believes that he knows what it is, and takes actions against those who do not live up to his standards. He has the typical white knight syndrome, believing in things like innocence and good and evil. He’s right a lot of the times, but he’s also his own judge and jury, and makes snap decisions about people. As an ex-cop, his view of morality aligns more closely to “follow the law or pay the consequences” than he’d like to admit. He sees himself as someone in control, and that means that if something bad goes down and he doesn’t stop it or do something retaliatory, that’s his fault. The world is his to make right, and he does so with a great lack of subtly.
What do you dislike most about your character’s personality?
Fentin really thinks that what he thinks is right, is correct. He won’t be challenged about it. He believes he’s earned the right to make this judgement after being on the “right side” of law-enforcement for so long, seeing the flaws in the system, and making the decision to drop out and shadowrun. He tells himself that this is a sacrifice, and because he’s suffered he can make decisions that often ruin or end other peoples’ lives. He’s got a whole white knight problem.
What is the story with your character and her contacts?
Chem, Martin Tate, and Quantum Princess are Fentin’s contacts, but I think the more telling contacts are the ones that aren’t there. Fentin really did let go of his old life. No contact with his family, friends, coworkers, ex girlfriends, etc. Chem is a shadowrunner he knows from Chicago, a trust-worthy freak without much of a face that cooks and drives. Fentin hacked him long ago expecting to find a bunch of immoral and illegal shit in his comm, but it was just illegal for the most part. Fentin doesn’t love the guy, but he’s found Chem to be trust-worthy, at the very least.
It’s Sunday morning, and your character has no commitments until tomorrow afternoon. What does he
do for the day?
Read! Study. Fentin is crazy about knowledge. Most of the money he’s earned in his life has gone to extremely expensive upgrades to his ability to learn and know things. This insatiable predilection for knowledge is probably just another way that his need to feel control asserts himself. He loves being the guy on the spot with the good info, and his natural and augmented intelligence lends itself perfectly to this desire.
Is there a moral limit that your character enforces on the jobs he takes, and in what shadow work would he refuse to engage?
Fentin won’t hack or hurt anyone who he sees as innocent. This includes people who are strung out, kids, domesticated animals, etc. He’ll gladly do wetwork if he can justify, but he won’t hack someone who he thinks is doing a good job being a citizen and is a caring human being. There are certain jobs, though, where when you sign up for them you accept the responsibilities that you can be attacked, no matter how good a person is. A guard, a soldier, even a cop – he’ll try to not kill them, but these are people who have jobs that are part of institutions, and when you work for them, you become part of the institutions. It’s within this moral gray area that Fentin justifies hacking all kinds of people, and bending his rules to suit his needs.
How did your character come to have the enhancements he has, how were they paid for, and what motivated the choices he made (if he did make the choices)?\
All of Fentin’s gear – deck and guns – were paid for by Ares and bought off by Fentin’s “employers” when he hacked his way out of his contract with them. Fentin actually did pay Ares fair and square for them, just not obviously as himself. His cyberware is his own, though, paid for during his years at Firewatch.
What does your character think of ordinary life, mainstream culture, and those who abide by it?
Fentin’s into a lot of mainstream culture. He likes the equivalent of super-hero movies in contemporary society, watches sportz, enjoys being a single 33 year old. I feel like he’s just a few shades away from normal in a lot of ways. He was happy to normalize to the equivalent of Seal Team Six back when it was convenient and exciting for him, and during those times would’ve been indestinguishable from any bro watching future-football in a bar somewhere. He always loved learning and reading, but the intense pursuit of knowledge he has now has been a much more recent thing.
If your character had a lingering nightmare or a deep-rooted fear, what would it be, and why does he find it so terrifying?
I think he has nightmares about being used by corporations. As a runner, he always has less info than he’d want. His nightmares are probably about finding out he’s been working for the bad guys doing bad guy shit. He also fears that his various hypocrisies over the years would be found out. I feel like Fentin has dreams where he’s doing something really awful to someone, killing a down-trodden person or beating up a lover, and that’s his subconscious going over his fears that he’s actually the bad guy.
Introduction to Jackpoint:
Hey Chummers! It’s Kn0b13_8gerr here, youre friendly neighborhood avenger. Send me your child pornographers, your corrupt cops, your hypocritical politicians. I’ll find ‘em, hack em, and let the everyone see the scum that sits just beneath the surface of this world. I’m a moral hacker with a heart of gold and great aim with my killer sniper rifle. I love nothing more than exposing the underbelly of this awful lawless society. All large organizations eventually become corrupt. That’s why I decided to come to the shadows, fellow friends. Small teams, big jobs, great payoffs. We all know rules are rules but sometimes we need to bend them. Am I right? Great to be here, fellow shadowrunners.
After going to a bar, Fentin no longer remembers that he was in the KEYKIDS.